Committee approves highway borrowingThe next couple of years could be a very busy time for highway repairs in Pierce County.
By: Jason Schulte, Pierce County Herald
The next couple of years could be a very busy time for highway repairs in Pierce County.
That’s because the finance and personnel committee approved last Tuesday issuing debt of $7 million to start making a dent in the highway department’s $45 million deficit. The $7 million will go toward bridges and roadway projects not funded through the annual levy.
The borrowing will be done over the next three years, but the county has 10 years to pay the deficit back, said Administrative Coordinator JoAnn Miller. What it means for the taxpayer is you own a $200,000 home, you will now be paying an extra $52 in property taxes over the next 10 years, if the full county board approves the $7 million total.
County Board Supervisor Ron Bartels addressed the committee during the 50-minute meeting to talk about whether or not the state could help before the committee approved the figure. Bartels replied based on the conversations and information he gathered, that answer would be a no and the county would have to play catch-up themselves.
Therefore, based on Bartels’ information, they were left with only one choice, but it was obvious it was a choice they didn’t like.
“I’m not warm and fuzzy about this, but we have to address it,” said Committee Member Jon Aubart said. “Highway needs to be funded adequately so we don’t have to be back here again.”
Committee Chairman Jeff Holst echoed those thoughts, saying highway has been neglected in the past and now the county has to play catch-up for stuff that should have been done years ago.
For more please read the Oct. 17 print version of the Herald.